Ten Tales of Tassie — Delectable Detours and Delicious Digressions
Part Seven of a series of ten
The path gently twists down further into an enchanted forest which seems to have been drawn straight from an Enid Blyton novel.
It’s a crisp morning and there’s some chatter somewhere ahead of me and if it wasn’t for the fact that I saw other cars in the car park, I would swear that it was the leprechauns and hobgoblins nattering to each other over breakfast.
There’s many a time, I have crossed the Liffey River in Dublin so it makes sense, as soon as I spot the sign, that I go visit its namesake in Tasmania and the Falls that also take the name.
When I’m on holiday on my own, it’s very easy for me, as I guess for others, to get side-tracked. This place hadn’t made it onto my List of Things To Do — I’d actually never heard of it although I had been wanting to visit one of the many waterfalls in Tasmania while I was here — but this is my second of three diversions I make today. I am supposed to be on my way from Launceston to Ulverstone in the North West but my first unscheduled stop is Deloraine. I’m not sure what this town is like normally but today it’s in a happy smiley mood, so I get out the car and chill for twenty minutes on the banks of the Meander River.
But I digress. It’s at Deloraine that I see a sign to the Great Lakes Lookout and decide that Ulverstone can wait as the Lookout is only 38km away. But my focus is diverted again ten kms up the road, when I see the sign for the Falls, which causes me to point the car in a totally different direction.
The Liffey Falls are not huge but have a set of four cascades with easy access to each, albeit downhill (which you’ve guessed is an uphill climb on return). But the cascades are delightful enough and worth the journey.
At the fourth and final stage, I come across a man who is carefully stacking rocks, while his girlfriend looks on, unamused. I am guessing he figures that a stack of rocks in the foreground with the water tumbling behind will make a “phenomenal” photo. This trend that I first saw some years ago in Tenerife seems no nearer abating and this modern “geological feature” is becoming a rather annoying norm. Though “cairns” as they are officially called, have traditionally been a useful tool for showing trekkers the correct route in the wilderness, the amount of stacks that are now appearing are often merely a piece of green “graffiti” created by an egotistical traveler who wishes to mark his territory, like some boisterous bloodhound on heat. The end result is a form of engineered erosion which turns a natural environment to something artificial. Surely this defeats the point of being in a remote location with Mother Nature. So my usual answer to this is a quick flick of the ankle as I walk past, but today this would entail a three foot paddle to get there and an unnecessary confrontation, so I let it be.
I leave the Liffey Falls and continue. Even though I have been seeing signs all morning for Falls and Lookouts, I am still slightly surprised that the car is being made to climb so steeply.
Although Google Maps has gone offline, I think I am close to the Great Lakes Lookout but I have to stop the car again when I get to Pine Lake and take a photo.
I am in awe of Tasmania’s sudden resemblance to Scotland. There are shrubs that look like heather and gorse (as I write this I realise that I don’t actually know what gorse looks like but it sounds good so I’m going to leave it in). I am trying to get a photo of the blue of the lake and the pink of the heather and it’s at this point that I decide I need to step down into the rocks below me. Usually, I would do this without thinking but for some reason, my brain is telling me to look down first. Which is rather fortunate.
I grant you it’s not a great photo but you’ll need to forgive my lack of poise and precision. (There are three species of Tasmanian snake. In my amateur opinion, I have since discounted my new companion being the Lowland Copperhead as I was quite high up a mountain at the time. So this specimen was either a Tiger Snake or a White Lipped Snake but as I didn’t lean in for a snog, I can not say for certain what colour its lips were). Time for me to step gently backwards.
Despite the altitude, the sun is still strong when I finally reach the Great Lakes Lookout. In the twenty minutes I am there, I am alone with my thoughts and I hear not a sound. Grateful to have no schedule, I am at liberty to change my plans when I want which means that I can just wallow here and enjoy the view. Which I do.
I hesitate when I reach the car door… “Now where was I supposed to be heading….?”